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2022 Summer Fellowships: Counterpart International

By Ahmí Moore, Lizzie Huhn, and Jillian Bock

As part of the Human Rights Center's summer fellowship program, three University of Dayton students, Ahmí, Jillian and Lizzie, worked with Counterpart International, a non-profit organization that partners with local organizations, people, and networks all over the world to help build more inclusive and sustainable communities. Below they describe their experiences: 


Ahmi's experience

This summer I was afforded the opportunity to work with Counterpart International, a leading Washington D.C. based non-profit, on their Promoting Advocacy Rights in Bangladesh Project (PAR). My work with this organization proved to be drastically different from every other summer that I’ve spent interning. Considering my work background is rooted in gender rights, human trafficking, and racial inequality, working with the PAR project offered up a new realm of human rights that I had not yet explored. At its core, the PAR project intends “…to strengthen the enabling environment for sustained civil society institutions advancing democratic governance and citizen participation in Bangladesh.” A mission statement that I would later come to learn to be far more complex than I once thought. After my introduction into the world of PAR, I was assigned a journey into the cyber world. My work with PAR allowed me to engage in a series of cool projects ranging from researching cyber security laws, to consulting with organizations like ICNL (The International Center for Not-for-profit Law) and ISLP (International Senior Lawyers Project) on establishing pro bono services, to interviewing crucial members of the project regarding their fieldwork. These were all aspects of the internship that I really enjoyed. Working with privacy and cybersecurity as a human right was very new to me, and something that I had to think more critically about. However, I enjoyed the challenge, and I feel that I came out of this internship with more crucial knowledge and better understanding of a topic that I was unfamiliar with. I also feel this internship has helped me be more flexible and adaptable, skills that I am absolutely certain will aid me in my future endeavors.

Jillian's experience

This summer I was offered the opportunity to intern for Counterpart International in the WomenLead Institute. The WomenLead Institute focuses on strengthening women’s leadership, management, and technical competencies. It has helped thousands of women become empowered in their ability as leaders and recognizes that when women move forward, the world moves with them. The Institute’s core mission is to “enhance women’s confidence, capacity, and agency to fuel greater representation and impact of women in leadership positions across all sectors and institutions, in the United States and in countries around the world.” This is central to my core beliefs and so I found the work to be extremely rewarding and inspiring. Throughout the summer, I worked on various projects such as interviewing alumni who have completed the Global Women in Management (GWIM) leadership program and asking them about their experience. This program provides women training, grants, coaching, and network support while strengthening their management, leadership, and technical skills. I was also able to contribute to the WomenLead Institute’s section on the Counterpart International website and provide relevant recommendations. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and learning from many of the wonderful women working at Counterpart and it has been a highlight of my summer. Another highlight for me has been learning about the women all over the world who are involved with The WomenLead Institute who I have found to be so inspiring, confident, and absolute trailblazers. I have personally come out of this experience more educated on women’s issues and more passionate about the cause, as well as wildly inspired. I know everything I have learned while interning at Counterpart will help me in pursuing my future professional goals and I am excited to see all that Counterpart accomplishes in the coming years. 

Students visit Counterpart offices to engage is discourse with professionals.
Lizzie's experience

Before starting this internship, I was just another college student who didn’t really know where I was going in life. I remember finding this position and reading about Counterpart’s values and the mission statement of the WomenLead Institute and thinking what a great fit this would be for me. I was ecstatic when I learned I’d gotten the fellowship. This internship has given me a sense of direction in what I want to do with my life. Previously, I hadn’t realized how many career paths there were in the nonprofit sector. Working with the Counterpart, I’ve been introduced to various positions in this field which has given me so many options for what I could pursue after graduation. I have also been given the opportunity to build on my professional skill set. I’ve developed my communication skills on an international level by conversing with the alumni of the GWIM program. These women–who have founded companies, started initiatives for human rights issues, and worked on other projects of the like–attend these conferences to cultivate their leadership skills. Talking to them was very inspiring and allowed me to find a common ground between me and women from all over the world. I’ve also worked on various communications projects like formatting surveys and invitations, which have been great learning opportunities. Reflecting on my time at Counterpart, I’m incredibly appreciative of all the new experiences I gained and plan to utilize all my new skills as I pursue a career after graduation.

Ahmí Moore is a rising junior at the University of Dayton double majoring in Human Rights Studies and English.

Lizzie Huhn is a rising senior at the University of Dayton. I am a Philosophy major with minors in Pre-Law and Business Administration. 

Jillian Bock is a rising senior at the University of Dayton majoring in political science.

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